Daycare Acceptance Requirements
The ‘Purpose’ of our daycare is to provide dogs a place to play with other canines during the day that is emotionally and physically safe at all times!
Our ‘Mission Statement’ is all dogs, clients and staff will be treated with uncompromising dignity, kindness and respect!
Our dog daycare service is a separate entity from our dog training service. Therefore, our daycare service is not to provide training to dogs that have behavioural and socialization issues such as reactivity, aggression, or any other similar concerns. If your dog requires training for these issues, we are more than happy to provide training outside of our daycare hours.
Training a dog with these issues in a daycare setting can exacerbate the issue, causing dog fights, as well as, harm to our staff.
Also, our daycare is kennel-free, so when dogs are together in the same area for long periods of time, it can actually have a negative impact for certain dogs’ emotional and physical well-being.
It can cause them extreme anxiety, stress, and fear when they simply prefer to be in a setting where there are far fewer dogs with far less energy. Many dogs are introverts and feel safe only when there are no other dogs near them at all, and/or when they are only with their owners in the safety of their own home.
Many older dogs (especially senior dogs) become less tolerant of being in a communal area with a large number of high energy dogs for long periods of time. A dog can be quite comfortable for several years in a daycare, but as (s)he ages, that level of comfort can change, causing the older/senior dog to start showing signs of anxiety, stress, and fear in that same setting.
There are many dogs in general who tolerate daycare for the first few days, weeks, or even months of daycare, but then become overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed each time they come in. This can happen for various reasons as each dog is unique.
Several dogs don’t do well with long days of daycare, but they do well with only half days. It is an option we give clients, especially when their dog gets anxious and stressed at pick up time (starting at 3 pm and onward) when owners are coming to take the other dogs’ home. We will openly discuss this option with you if your dog is stressed with the longer days.
Daycare can also be overwhelming for certain puppies. These puppies, or any aged dog, are much more comfortable being with a small group of other canines. This can be playing one-to-one with a similar energy-type dog in their own home, a friend’s home, (or a dog sitters home where there are very few other dogs). Another option is a dog walker where they only have to be with a small number of dogs for a very short period of time. They then get to go to their own house to rest until their owners come home. We will openly discuss these options with you if your puppy is not happy being in daycare.
Also, many dogs have only been exposed to a large outside, off leash environment where the expectation of playtime is for only 1 – 2 hours at a time. They then get to go home to rest for the remainder of the day without the presence of multiple other dogs constantly around them making them over-stimulated, over-tired, and over-whelmed.
When these dogs come into a kennel- free daycare, they may have a negative experience when having to play with several dogs, in an enclosed environment, for very long periods of time (up to 10 hours at a time). These dogs haven’t learned how to regulate self-tiredness and/or self-soothing in a constant high distraction setting. They can become over-stimulated, over-aroused, and aggressive in play causing possible dog fights. These dogs do best playing in an off leash setting. We will openly discuss this with you if your dog is not a good fit for our daycare.
We, at Raising Canine, respect these various types of dogs. We recognize it causes them incredible stress and anxiety to remain in a daycare setting, and that continued exposure only exacerbates their symptoms.
When dogs are experiencing high levels of negative emotions, they are releasing large amounts of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which are not meant to be sustained repeatedly, nor sustained for long periods of time. It is detrimental to the emotional well-being of the dog to keep them in a situation that is causing such a negative response.
Also, dogs are pack animals that respond to the emotions (energy levels) of other canines around them. When dogs exhibit high levels of anxiety, stress, and fear in communal areas, such as kennel free daycares, it causes the other dogs in daycare to become abnormally anxious; stressed; fearful; agitated; frustrated; reactive and/or aggressive. This can cause unnecessary dog fights with undue injury and trauma to any of the dogs and/or staff.
This information is based on the scientifically proven studies, research, books, papers, education, experience, and expertise of world-renown animal behaviourist and dog trainers such as Patricia B. McConnell, PhD.; Dr. Ian Dunbar, PhD, BVetMed MRCVS; Karen Pryor; Suzanne Clothier; Linda Tellington-Jones, Phd (Hon); Karen Pryor; to name a few.
When the Staff and/or Owner of Raising Canine calls an owner to inform her/him that their dog is not willingly wanting to be in daycare, and that the dog should not be subjected to future daycare visits, we do so based on the evidence of the above mentioned experts. We ultimately make this decision for the sake of the dog.
We care about your dog and all the dogs at Raising Canine, so we are constantly assessing their ‘canine body language’, calming signals’, ‘mental status’ and ‘play behaviour’ indicating whether or not they are having (or creating) a positive or negative daycare experience for themselves and/or the other dogs. We want your dog’s experience and all the dogs’ experiences to be a positive one only.
We also make many attempts to ease the anxiety, stress, and fear of dogs by ‘interrupting and distracting’ higher energy dogs away from them. As well, we do ‘consent tests’ to determine if the anxious dog is actually consenting to play with the other dog who is pursuing them.
We place the anxious dog into different pens with lower energy dogs and/or into the quiet room with a blanket, a toy, water, and bone or some kind of chew stick (as approved by the owner).
We also let these dogs stay with staff in our office and/or at the front desk where they are away from the other dogs. They are given beds, water, bones, and toys to provide comfort.
We, the staff and volunteers, will spend some time on a one-to-one basis with anxious dogs such as holding them, cuddling them, massaging them, playing with them. Unfortunately, we have several other dogs and many other responsibilities to attend to, so we are unable to sit with only one dog for extended periods of time.
As a last resort, we put a Thundershirt, (a calming shirt) on the dog or a Tellington Ttouch wrap to alleviate her/his anxiety.
Everyday, we have quiet time from 1 – 3 pm where we turn off all the lights, play soft music, burn calm inducing incense, and sit quietly with the dogs giving them massages and cuddles to give all the dogs the opportunity to rest and calm down. This is done to prevent over-tiredness, over-stimulation, heightened anxiety, and possible dog fights from these states of mind.
When all of these attempts are proven futile, and a dog or puppy is still showing signs of anxiety (panting; pacing; incessant barking; chronic whining; inability to drink water or eat food; disinterest in interacting and playing with other dogs and staff; inability to relax and rest quietly; becoming reactive toward the other dogs such as air snapping and/or actually connecting and losing bit inhibition; we then make the assessment that the dog is clearly indicating (s)he does not want to remain in daycare.
Should your dog present with any of these mentioned behavioural issues, we will call you immediately to pick up your dog so (s)he can return to the security of her/his home environment and thus no longer be emotionally stressed.
We don’t judge or blame you or your dog if (s)he is not a good fit for our daycare. It is not because we don’t want your dog. Instead, it is because we completely understand and appreciate that your dog is clearly ‘communicating’ (s)he doesn’t want to be in our daycare!!! (S)he WANTS to go home and we want to honor that!
Also, if your dog is not a good fit for Raising Canine, there are many other wonderful care alternatives such as larger, warehouse type dog daycares that provide kennels for your dog to be placed in and removed from the other dogs. There are also dog walkers and dog sitters that have a very small number of dogs together at one-time. We will openly discuss these options with you.
If your dog does presents with behavioural/socialization issues in daycare, as well as, at home, and/or in public, then we are more then happy to direct you to specialized dog training if you so choose to.
It must be recognized, understood, and appreciated that many dogs are simply happy to be in the comfort and quiet of their own home and away from the hussle and bussle of active environments. They do not want nor need to socialize with other canines. Only their humans.
To uphold the ‘Purpose’ & ‘Mission Statement’ of our daycare,
We cannot accept/keep dogs with:
- Generalized anxiety
- Separation anxiety
- Incessant barking/whining/pacing/panting
- Inability to read other dogs’ body language, especially ‘Calming Signals’
- Unmanageable high energy, over-stimulation, and over-arousal levels that ‘overwhelm’ the other dogs
- Inappropriate canine play behavior such as ‘Bullying’ or rough ‘off leash play’
- Inability to self-regulate tiredness, thus preventing ability to self-sooth
We also require all dogs, over 6 months old, be spayed or neutered, with no exceptions. Again, this is for the safety and comfort of all our dogs. Un-neutered males can present with aggression, constant mounting of the other dogs causing fights, and frequent marking of the daycare walls, and fences. Un-spayed females can arouse male dogs, including neutered males.
All dogs and puppies are required to have up-to date vaccinations including kennel cough and treatment for fleas and lice. Puppies must have at least second round of vaccination shots. Again, this is for the safety of all the dogs that attend our daycare.
It is Raising Canine’s policy that we do not accept the following breeds]:
Pitbulls (all types); Rottweilers; Chow Chows; Boxers; Dobermans; and Bull Mastiffs.
If you would like a further explanation of this policy, please feel free to call us and we will gladly explain.
Thank you so much for understanding and respecting our Daycare Acceptance Requirements
If you do not wish to have your dog attend our daycare because of our Daycare Acceptance Requirements, we respect your decision.